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Chart Beat Podcast: Justin Bieber Reigns in Spanish & Kendrick Lamar Tops Hot 100

Plus, Hit Songs Deconstructed's Yael & Dave Penn return to analyze more pop music trends & Billboard's Dan Rys joins for a flashback to 2Pac's first top 10 in 1995.

Welcome to the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast, where each week co-hosts Gary Trust and Trevor Anderson, from the Billboard charts department, discuss why what’s on the charts … is on the charts.

This week, Gary and Trevor dig into a busy top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, led by Kendrick Lamar‘s first No. 1 as a lead artist, “Humble.,” and its massive streaming totals. Plus, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee‘s “Despacito” blasts to No. 9, aided by its new feature from Justin Bieber, who shows off his singing skills in Spanish. Gary and Trevor celebrate other perhaps unlikely stars who’ve recorded beyond their native languages (from Johnny Cash to … “Reina Bey”).

Also pointed out: a rarity that the top titles on Hot Latin Songs (“Despacito”) and Hot Country Songs (Sam Hunt‘s “Body Like a Back Road”) have ranked in the Hot 100’s top 10 over the past two weeks.

In our industry insider interview, Hit Songs Deconstructed co-founders Yael and Dave Penn return to share insights on current pop music trends. Perhaps most noticeably, trop-house has infused numerous recent hits, including Ed Sheeran‘s 12-week Hot 100 No. 1 “Shape of You.” As Dave cites, the sound accounted for 13 percent of all top 10s in third-quarter 2016 and then swelled to 35 percent through the end of the year, while “not waning in winter. A-list superstars, such as Sia, Shawn Mendes, Maroon 5 and Sheeran, have capitalized on the trend.”

Also analyzed by Dave and Yael: the compositional characteristics that have helped make The Chainsmokers‘ “Closer,” featuring Halsey, one of the biggest hits in the Hot 100’s history.


Wrapping up the podcast, Billboard staff writer Dan Rys stops by to remember 2Pac‘s first Hot 100 top 10, “Dear Mama,” which reached the region this week in 1995. Dan also connects the dots from 2Pac to Lamar, recalling how, among other links, the latter’s “Mortal Man,” from his 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly, is a virtual duet between the two (via clips of an obscure interview that 2Pac had conducted on a Swedish radio station in 1994).

Enjoy the entire latest Chart Beat Podcast and check back for more upcoming episodes with artists, label executives, radio programmers and personalities, songwriters, producers and more. And, to receive every episode automatically in your inbox, subscribe to (and rate) the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast on iTunes!